September 18, 2011

Ch. 16: Love, Anger, Guilt, and Hate Part 2



"You can do it, Marie. The first step is always the hardest."

Her gaze clung to the floor beneath her feet -- dazzling white marble tiles reflected her yellow-bellied face. The first step has been taken, and now she must go through the next baby steps.

Sweating, her left palm shuddered against the concrete wall. The other pressed against her chest, clutching at the thin fabric underneath her white jacket. Unlike the night before when her brain was filled with the thoughts about Rose's survival, she followed Pierre as he carried her in his arms, now... she felt the strength had already weaken.

"Mommy!"

A push from a stretcher against her leg tilted her body aside, concussing her. She blundered and bumped against the wall. The hysterical cry of a child froze her feet. Standing shivering, she watched a hand hung limply over the edge of the stretcher: the hand of a woman... the mother of the child... fingers coated with blood.

The oxygen level in her lungs dropped, absorbed by the thick current of people surrounded the dead body of the woman. Tile floors beneath her feet spun as she sag back against the concrete wall.

"Are you okay?"

A little girl pulled her hand.

Theme Song: Hello by Evanescence



Her eyes: blue, soft, igniting a smile. Little fingers lifted the weight of her fallen body. Even though, covered by a blue hat adorned with a pink ribbon, Marie could see the little girl's hair had all fallen out and her body was  thin...  too thin for a little girl her age.

"It's - It's you, isn't it?" The name hung heavy at the tip of her tongue. "Amy?"

Reaching for the little girl's cheek, her eyes observed closely every round of the girl's wan face. Half excited, half disbelieved, half afraid that the little girl would disappear from her sight, she pulled her hands and held her close.

"I love you, big sis." Marie could hear her soft squeal somewhere nearby. A smile across her face as the wind swept beneath their feet and over their heads. Thousands of lights dispersed and flashed around her small body. Standing in front of her school, her kitty school bag slung across her oversize school shirt. Though some of her hair had fallen out, her pink flowery hat flapped by the wind forced her to grab it and hold it tight, and her body thicken with bones -- pale face dimly lit by thousands of untold pain -- there she was... smiling, still eager to go to her class. And even though some of the other kids ran joyfully in the playground -- so contrary to her standing with exhaustion by  the swollen in her lungs and kidney portrayed by the dark purple below her eyes-- her small feet stepped with large paces she could take...  running toward her, giving her big sister a biggest hug... the biggest hug Marie might never feel again.

The more she observed her, the more she knew her eyes had been deceiving her. "You're not her. You're not...Amy.  Leave! Please leave!"

Turning her back to the little girl, chest pressed against the wall, hands crawling on it, her sweat seeped into the concrete as she felt nothing but guilt. The girl looked hurt already, but she had plodded away with her back hunched -- staring accusingly at her.

The dizziness returned and her body shivered like a broken glass. Even the wall kept bouncing back no matter how hard she tried to press herself against it. It seemed... her efforts to find a soft spot to hide brought her nothing as she had hurt another's feeling. It was so terrible of her -- so terrible that her feet limped, shook, and falling.

"Are you okay?"

A hand shielded her fingers on the wall, squeezing them tight, preventing her from falling, "You don't look so good. ", and then lowering them gently.

“P- Pierre? Take - take me out of here!"




***

If there was an oxygen mask, she could really use it. The air hung heavy by the cacophony of people, their feet marched against time, the hollow expressions of relatives and friends for their loved ones, the crying of the little child for his mum -- she was here, but not here... obviously refused to be here. This part of the world was so familiar, but was so distant like a black and white movie played before her. Even though, if it's only a movie about doctor and nurses, she would have switched it off already. The pain was unbearable for her to carry.

Shuddering again, bouts of hiccups started to attack her. Her hands fell down on her thighs. Right hand open up in a surrender while the other clutched at her jacket cuff dampened by the tears from her eyes. Hunched up on the hospital bench, another tear had dropped.

It's useless. There's no other way she could think of. An escape would be a perfect gateway, but it's too late. Someone had already ran toward her. 

"I brought you these." His panting breaths filled the air as he arrived. From the way he brushed the damp hair off his forehead, and the way his chest rose and fell endlessly as he breathed, she knew he was exhausted from running. "The elevator stopped working for a while, but I've heard they have already fixed it by now. Here! I bought you these."

"For me?" In his hands were a bottle of mineral water and a  paper bag. She took the mineral water and drank it. As he sat beside her, she could feel a live energy had been dropped by her side -- an energy to struggle... to whatever will happen.

"What's that?" She asked, trailing Pierre's hands holding a paper bag on his thighs. Even though, her hiccups were still hampering her speeches, she managed to ask him another question. "You haven't eaten from last night?"

"I have. It's for you." Pierre's lips drawn up into a benign smile. His eyes signified sincerity.

"Thanks. I've had my breakfast." She handed him back the bottle of mineral water.

"No." He shook his head. "It's for you...to breathe, see?" 

He emptied the paper bag and then held it closer to his mouth, not kissing it, only to demonstrate the use. His cheek puffed and deflated while holding it on a line to his lips. "I saw it on TV."

Marie sat in an awe, but his smile broke it off immediately. Her trembling hand reached for the paper bag. Once their fingers met, she wished he was oblivious to it.

"Feel better?" He asked.

Marie breathed into the paper bag. The hiccups had slowly gone and the loud voices from the information desk had muffled down -- leaving her with only her thoughts. She glanced at Pierre and smiled. "Thanks."

"You're welcome. You don't look so good. Are you sick?"

Marie bowed -- pulling the paper bag down on her thighs.

"You don't have to answer it if you don't want to. I'd understand."

Still, Pierre's eyes refused to stop observing her apprehensively.

"If... if  I tell you, would you promise not to tell about it to anyone? Not to our teachers, or even our friends?"

There was silence for a while.

"I promise." He nodded.

Again, she steadied her breath. "Do you know... there are people who afraid of hypodermic needle, blood, doctor's coat, and nurses?" Her voice quivered, barely audible for others to hear. Pierre had to move a bit closer to hear her clearly. "Some have those naturally, but in my case it's worse... being in the hospital itself is a huge step for me." She paused, swallowed reluctantly. "I have Nosocomephobia, fear of being inside the hospital. That's why I ran... that's why... just being here is a huge step for me."

She glanced over and saw Pierre's face remain unchanged. Marie's chest deflated. She knew she should not have told him. Her own words had stiffen her jaw. Pierre might have thought that she was being dramatic and her fear was unreasonable -- only a cry to seek out a sympathy from him. That's why she never told about it to anyone, not even to her father.

"How do you feel now?" Pierre suddenly erupted. His voice was calming and careful. She placed the paper bag on the sofa on her left. Folding her hands gently on her thighs, she tried hard to hide her trembling and fears, but when she looked back at him, the rays in his eyes sent a welcome gaze and some signals that it's okay for her to let him know part about her life.

"The truth? Used to be worse than this. I'm being ridiculous, am I?"

His eyes narrowed. "No!" The emphasizing tone in his voice reminded her not to say things like that about herself. "You're not being ridiculous. I never knew someone who has that kind of fear, but people have their own phobias. Some people afraid of snakes, heights, Rose is afraid of swimming, and you... you have no... nosoco- mo- " Pierre shook his head, not able to let the words out correctly. "It's okay. Even a hero like Superman has a fear of being near Kryptonite."

For a moment, he had a point there.

"And what's yours?"

"Huh?"

His eyes widened. It seemed he had not expected to be asked that kind of question." I guess ... I'm afraid of losing the people I love and-", as though it wasn't a good answer because obviously everyone is afraid of the same thing, he landed his gaze upon her again, hesitated for a while and then thinking about it again. "Don't tell this to anyone, but... dogs, snakes, I can pet them, even elephants, but no... not cats."

"Cats? Those cute little animals?"

"Yeah, but they are not so cute anymore when they try to scratch your finger every time you try to stroke them. "

Marie's lips drawn up into a smile. She chuckled. "Sorry. Actually, I know one person who's afraid of cats. She's... my mother. "

Suddenly, it's not so funny anymore.

"What about you?" He asked. "Why are you afraid of the hospital? "

Marie turned her head away, gnawing her lips. She could feel the coldness around her face. Pierre had asked topics she hardly mentioned to anyone before. The pain in her throat intensified.

"I - I don't know. Maybe it was started when I lost my mother in this hospital and then my sister followed her."

Silence hit them one more time.

"Sorry."

"It must have been tough for you."

"It was, but someone I've met said that they have been taken to a better place. I just I hope I can be with Rose. She's my friend. She's a good friend. I should have been there beside her."

"Hey." Pierre held her hand gently. His warmth penetrated the back of her hand. "It's okay. If you're not ready, you don't have to visit her now. I'm sure Rose will understand. She's your friend." He said quietly.

Moving her neck lumpishly toward him, she saw again a pair of blue eyes radiated softly - ones that reminded her of her sister's.

"Thank you, you're nice, but I know I cannot escape this anymore, not when every time someone I love is being treated in a hospital. I know I must do this."

"You sure?"

Nodding her head, a smile escaped her lips.

"Then, I'll accompany you... if in case you fall again."

She noticed his hand was still wrapping her fingers gently. Strangely though, her shiver had already gone. Calm and tranquility replaced her nervousness attack. Looking back at him, she saw Rose, Amy, her mother, and the little girl she had just met  comforting her, assuring her to move on.

And a small voice from within embracing her tight. "You're not alone, big sis. No matter what, you will never be. I'll always love you."

"Thank you." Her tears dripped as she remembered her again.

"I'm sorry. Have I make you cry?"

Marie shook her head, smiling. She noticed him quickly let her hand go as his eyes fell on their colliding hands. It's funny that you could be so close to anyone like this, even to share secrets to a stranger, to someone you have only said: "hello" few times when you were walking through the school's gate, or only have just talked about paintings at Mrs. Fournier's class.

"Shall we go?"

Marie nodded. Together, they marched across the hospital hall, passing through the cacophony of people: some cried, some shrilled with relieved. Children were running around the hospital hall. Doctors in white jacket and nurses walked back and forth. Another stretcher was being pushed by paramedics - lying on it was a young man covered in blood. Marie hardly saw his face as the stretcher was being wheeled in at a high velocity into an ICU room. His sandy blond hair fell weakly on the stretcher.

"You can do this." said her new friend next to her.

She turned her head to her right. Pierre was glancing at her. His smile had not faded from the time she finally told him about her secrets. She knew from then on that they have become friends. Steadying her breaths, she let her new friend held her hand as they walked steadily into an elevator.

***

Champs Les Sims, seven kilometers  away from the graveyard.

Von Brewson stepped quietly into a place they have arranged for the meeting. No one was around, and even though he could barely see the man sitting with his back turned to him, from the heavy tone in his voice, he recognized that he's the messenger that would bring him back into his own time.

"We have arrived." said the messenger. Walking to the highest hill, the two finally stopped. Von opened his coat and then threw his hat away.

"This is it. The closed Timelike Curve is going to open in eight seconds. Are you ready?"

"I am." His voice quivered. It was going to be an inconvenient journey.


The ground spun. A feel of hot burning lavas beneath his feet attacked him, exchanged by the coldest ice in the North Pole, and then again by sharp area filled with wires of electricity. His soles froze, burnt, froze, and then burnt again...until eventually it felt nothing. But his head then banged by the loudest drum and his feet and hands stretched out as they were being swayed unevenly by the tidal force. Covering his ears, he cried as loud as he could be, but the blood flowed out of his nostrils as his body twitched and fused into the wormhole. 

"Three... Two... One.... Closing traversable wormhole. Welcome back, Commander." A voice from the mainframe computer resembled to a woman welcomed him into the spacecraft. 

He wiped the blood off his nostrils. The force around him had tapered off, but his head was stiff as he stared up at a satellite through the glass ceiling of the old spacecraft. He fixed his neck to turn it back to normal. His fingers clutched for the enormous pain he felt. Good thing it was only his head. The last time he travelled, his hands and feet were also being twisted around until it felt nothing but numb.

"Time, Grace!" He said, mournfully. It was kind of pathetic to feel those pain just to travel back into the future.

Von does not feel pain. Von does not feel hurt. Von does not feel anguish.

"September twenty second, 2185. Time 10 a.m. Temperature 20 degree Celcius. Had a wonderful journey, Commander?"

"It was a hell,  bloody fool. Check for history!"

"Checking begin." replied the mainframe computer, mentioning one by one major events happened on earth between 2012 until 2185.

Von stretched out his hands and legs. The stiffness remained still in his body like an immortal pain. His throat swollen by dehydration, even though his body had just travelled through the wormhole with the speed of light: 186 thousand miles per second. 

"The Admiral"

"Under your command, Commander Von. Returned from 2011 under the mission of taking control of the first green Tiberium discovered on earth with your permission to see you, Admiral ."

And the light behind him flashed.

"I see you haven't lost your sense of humor, my friend." A man with long black cloak and a veil emerged from the darkness. Von barely turned his head to see him. From the shadow on the floor and heavy voice behind him, it's enough for him to acknowledge that it was him, the unmentionable, the Dark Lord of the Dawn Valley.

"This time you are wrong. I've definitely lost it one hundred years ago."

Von stared emptily through the aquarium glass. Sea predators were swimming in the water with one purpose in their lives: to hunt.

"Shall not be worried, my friend, a second chance will always be yours."

Von smiled cynically. "How a second chance will be worth if I have lost my soul?"

He felt the chill around his back as the Dark Lord flicked open his coat. The sharks swam restlessly to the far end in the giant aquarium as the coldness crept through the marble floor.

"I feel your doubts, commander. Since you travelled back, it seems you have forgotten our purpose."

"What else to prove, Admiral? I've done everything. I even have a new name now."

Murderer... that's his new name. Looking down to his palms, he could see nothing but red taint upon it. He clenched them tight.

Turning his head to the Dark lord, the Dark Lord turned his back against him. The feel of the dark Lord's cold shoulder forced him to turn his gaze back toward the aquarium again.

"Have you had the Chrystal?" The Dark Lord asked without turning his back.

Von remained silent.

"I'm not inclined to be dilatory and I supposed you should not be the otherwise, Commander. "

Even though he could not see the Dark Lord's eyes, Von sensed the contemptuous tone in his voice. He turned his head slightly toward the Dark Lord, smelling the white rose on the long ornate table suddenly wilted by the eerie resonance of the Dark Lord's  voice.

"In a matter of second the boy will lead it to us."

"Good. And shall we get the journal his father had written? You know better they must not find them before us." The Dark Lord flicked his cloak again. "And I suppose the two of you shall be reunited again." He raised his hands in the air.

Von's body shivered. The Dark Lord had conquered the power he was longing for. But as a cage appeared from the bottom of the aquarium, he felt his body trembled and fell within seconds.



"Eve... ." The blood rushed in his veins. The weight on his chest made his heart almost explode. He saw her floating in aquarium filled with sea water and sharks. Her eyes closed tight, remained to be in a deep sleep for months.

"She's dying." The Dark Lord said.

The Dark Lord sped toward him. Von fell on his knees, forced by the strength of the Dark Lord's mind.

"Be patient!" The Dark Lord reached down for his shoulder. The Dark Lord must have felt his breathing became rapid as he tried to break himself free from his power. In this vulnerable state there's no way for him to fight back.

"Shall not be worried, you have my promise on the safety of your people."

"Dark Lord." Von bowed his head to avoid the Dark Lords's gaze.

Their conversation broken by the clutching knuckles of the Dark Lord's followed by the alarms roaring from the front ship to the back. "Our little friend has yet to surrender it seems." said the Dark Lord.

"Grace!" Von stood and stepped it out to the control room. "Where is he?"

A wide screen monitor suddenly appeared before them like a hologram. "Sphere nine, Commander."



On the monitor, a young man fought against machines resembled to human beings.

"Interesting." The Dark Lord flicked his fingers.


"The Grandfather Paradox."


"Guess who our little friend was!"


In Sphere nine, as seen on the monitor, the young knight slowly faded, disappearing from the new age of the earth and from the face of the universe.


To be Continued

11 comments:

♥ MJ said...

I'm sorry to have made you wait for this update.

The first part of the story was quite depressing because as Speechless had said: she's fighting against her own demons. So far, she's quite lucky for having someone else beside her while she's trying to overcome her fears. However, her struggling has not ended yet.

The song Angel of Mine by Evanescene, to my point of view, is really sweet and it expressed Marie's feelings about her sister. I recommend it :) It's more soothing than the first song.

Then we come to the next part. You may have already guessed where the story is going.

I hope you will enjoy reading it.

PiB said...

Oh my MJ, this episode is stunning.

Poor Marie, needing to fight her phobia of hospitals so she can be near the ones she loves.

Poor Valentin isn't looking well being wheeled in on that stretcher.

Wow, so the evil dude Von is a time traveler. And his Dark Lord doesn't seem the nicest of people.

Excellent work! Just amazing.

♥ MJ said...

Thank you so much, PiB. Thank you so much for reading and commenting. :)

Things aren't going so well for Rose and Val, and now they are being treated in the same hospital, but they don't know about it yet.

Marie decided to overcome her fear to be there for her friend, even though she has the option not to do it. So, I think she's quite brave for that. And since she is Rose's best friend, we've got the chance to get to know more about her.

Yes, Von is a time traveller. He's actually quite rebellious, but he seems helpless under the influence of his Dark Lord.

As well for the pictures, I used the goggalor for the sharks, and thanks to Valentin's father experimented objects we can see some hologram lines in the picture :)

Jennifer said...

MJ, fantastic shots and wow, I totally did not expect the ending!

I love that we are getting to know more about Marie. She seems like a real sweetie and obviously a good friend to Rose.

Looking forward to the time when Rose and Val are finally okay and can see each other.

Wonderful job! <3

♥ MJ said...

Thank you so much for the wonderful comment, Jennifer :) I noticed that there are something I have to explained about the ending... but you will see it later.

Marie has so many sides that we will see, not just the good part but also the bad part. Her friendship with Rose is going to be tested soon, but yes... she's a really sweet girl.

I'm sorry I haven't been much around to update, also on twitter. Lots of things have been happening to me that need my attention: my father's health, things at home, my work, and also I have just lost one of my best friends: my brown doggie that I cared so much. She used to be there around me when I was writing these stories, so I really miss her.

Jennifer said...

Awww, MJ, it sounds like your having a bit of a tough time atm. :(
I'm sorry to hear that your father is not well, hope it's not too serious and that he gets better real soon.

Also sorry to hear about your furry best friend passing. Can totally relate as we have dogs ourselves. One has passed already but the other seems to be hanging on. She loves life (and food lol) but my bf and I can see she is slowing declining as the days go by. Such is life though. It's unfortunate that we have to take the bad with the good sometimes.

I hope things get better for you soon. Stay positive and I'll be thinking about you!

*big hugs* <3

♥ MJ said...

Thank you so much, Jennifer. It really means a lot.

I think I have to act and think more mature now. There are things I could not control, but I can only hope. Think positive is surely a good advice. Thank you :)

My father is getting better. He's not the way he used to be, but he's getting better than before.

It's hard to see our fury friend go, but ... eventually they must go. I had her for more than fifteen years and I cherish those times with her. I keep calling her name whenever I have a biscuit in my hands. It's because I forgot that she's gone.

Thank you so much, Jennifer. You're really sweet <333

Kaleeko said...

:-O I am so blown, away, MJ. Everything in this is absolutely magnificent!!

First: the bit with Marie... man. My heart is just wrenching out of my chest. :( 'Hello' by Evanescence is one of those songs that gets me every time, and hearing it connected with Marie's plight... just, wow. Her story is so tragic, but seeing her with Pierre makes it feel very bittersweet. I adore them both so very much.

My jaw literally dropped seeing Val on the bed, covered in blood--oh man!! I hope he's okay, but... something tells me he's not. D:

But... will it even matter? MAN. This is SUCH a huge plot-twist that I did not expect!! Von, from the future--suddenly, everything that Val and Ros's parents were doing makes a lot more sense... clearly there's some sort of connection there, but--man. I can't wait to find out what!!

Also, the Dark Lord? *incredibly* creepy, and powerful. You did an amazing job of making me seriously afraid of him. There truly is more nefarious things at work in this story than simply an evil woman or a crime syndicate--and now, it makes me even more curious what they are up to!!

You never cease to amaze me, MJ <333

Kaleeko said...

Also: I really am sorry to hear about your father and your dear canine friend. :( I hope things are going much better for you now, but it sounds like work is keeping you busy to the bone.

Just hang in there! And know that there's people out there that care about you quite a bit. :) <3

♥MJ said...

Hello is a special song the singer wrote for her sister. :( It makes me sad to hear it.

Valentin...? Right after Von took him... will it be the same? Probably your feeling is right.

The future Von "came" from... is it in the same dimension? Or is it in parallel world? Would the quantum fluctuation occur to prevent them from changing the "past"? I hope you will stick to the story until then. :)

The Dark Lord (sorry,grimmy) has special abilities with mind, but he/she's just a mortal species in this story and not as the angel of death as he does in the story:) I'm glad he makes you afraid, though. Lol. XD

Thank you, Kaleeko. <3

Yeah, things at work ... , but I will grow old sooner if I don't have a hobby. I love writing this and I hope I will never leave this hobby. So, keep writing!

♥MJ said...

Lol, I should have written... angel of death in the game.